History of the chandelier


Arguably the most popular decorative object of all time is the classic chandelier. It’s stood the test of time and remains to be a status symbol of wealth, power and class. They were first used by our European ancestors by the end of the 9th century by the Church and due to its popularity and demand, castles and royal palaces sought out to replicate the look.

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the designs and complexity improved and had become an essential element in wealthy residences


By the 15th Century, the designs and complexity improved and had become an essential element in wealthy residences that exuded nobility and stature. It was during this period that the first crystal chandelier appeared.

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By the early 18th century, ornate cast forms with long, curved arms and many candles were in the homes of many in the growing merchant class. Neoclassical motifs became an increasingly common element, mostly in cast metals but also in carved and gilded wood. Chandeliers made in this style also drew heavily on the aesthetic of ancient Greece and Rome, incorporating clean lines, classical proportions and mythological creatures. Developments in glassmaking later allowed cheaper production of lead crystal, the light scattering properties of which quickly made it a popular addition to the form, leading to the crystal chandelier.


In the mid-19th century, as gas lighting caught on, branched ceiling fixtures called gasoliers (a portmanteau of gas and chandelier) were produced, and many candle chandeliers were converted. By the 1890s, with the appearance of electric light, some chandeliers used both gas and electricity. As distribution of electricity widened, and supplies became dependable, electric-only chandeliers became standard. Another portmanteau word, electrolier, was formed for these, but nowadays they are most commonly called chandeliers. Some are fitted with bulbs shaped to imitate candle flames, for example those shown below in Epsom and Chatsworth, or with bulbs containing a shimmering gas discharge.

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Toward the end of the 20th century, chandeliers were often used as decorative focal points for rooms, and often did not illuminate. Now in the 21st century they make the perfect addition to any stylish and glamorous wedding, and our chandeliers do illuminate. To find out how timeless style can be yours, contact our office on (03) 5428 3111.

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Eugene Guye